Welcome to the Philosophy Department

The Department of Philosophy is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences http://www.gvsu.edu/clas/  and offers both a Major and a Minor in Philosophy.

The Department counts 21 full-time faculty members working in a variety of specialties.

The Department's international faculty is made of active scholars who are committed to undergraduate education. They are at Grand Valley to share their expertise in a wide variety of philosophical schools, national traditions, historical periods, and specialized areas of philosophical work.

The curriculum is designed to provide a foundation of solid understanding of the history of philosophy, but also to encourage students to pursue work in their own areas of interest. Formal coursework is only one part of the Philosophy student's education. Since inquiry and study are most fruitful when conducted in a vital community of fellow scholars, the Department is committed to offering a number of excellent learning opportunities that go beyond traditional classroom structures.

You May Contact Us...


John Uglietta, Unit Head

Christine DeMichieli, Office Coordinator

Contact us:
Mackinac Hall B3-105
Allendale, Michigan 49401
Email: phidept@gvsu.edu
Tel (616) 331-2114
Fax (616) 331-2601  

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Upcoming Special Events

Shakespeare and the Philosophy of Performance

All are welcome to attend!

Katherine Mayberry, GVSU Alumnas

Thursday, October 17 at 4:30 pm

Black Box Theatre, GVSU Performing Art Center

Katherine Mayberry, alumna of the GVSU Philosophy Department, presents a talk on the ways in which performance conditions both reflect and inform larger ideas about what theatrical performance is and what purpose it serves. Scenes from several Shakespearean plays will demonstrate the ways in which the performance conditions of Shakespeare's time created interaction between actor and audience; actively engaged the audience's imagination; and called upon a dual consciousness in audience members, in which they are aware of both the story and characters of the play, but also of the methods that actors are using to create the performance.

After graduating from GVSU in 2000 with a double major in Liberal Studies and Philosophy, and a minor in Theatre, Katherine Mayberry studied Shakespearean acting with the London Theatre Exchange and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. She then went on to receive Master of Letters and Master of Fine Arts degrees in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin University/American Shakespeare Center. She serves as the executive director of the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company, a touring company based in West Michigan, where she also frequently works as an actor and director. She also works as a freelance actor, director, and teacher with many Michigan theatres and educational organizations, including the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

Call for Papers: Ethics, Practical Reasoning, Agency: Sellars' Practical Philosophy

For Information


. . . the fundamental principles of a community, which define what is ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘done’ or ‘not done’ are the most general common intentions of that community with respect to the behavior of members of the group.

Wilfrid Sellars, Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man

w. Sellars' Pic

Thriving in the Job Market

Career word with compass

Friday, October 25

Time: 10:00 -11:00 a.m.

Location: Holton-Hooker Living Center, Multi-Purpose Room

Contact information: Donovan Anderson ( andersdo@gvsu.edu)





Distinguished Grand Valley Alumni from the humanities and social sciences discuss the paths they took from college into the real world. Learn how the diverse skills they gained through their study of the liberal arts and sciences have impacted their success in the workplace since graduation.

Learn how you can integrate your own academic interests, talents, and co- curricular experiences into your educational path and career planning.

This panel discussion will empower students to identify and explain liberal education learning outcomes and articulate the relevance of these skills for their professional trajectories. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions of alumni and representatives from the Career Center.



Philosophy Department Colloquium Celebrates Descartes

The Philosophy Department held its first colloquium of the year which was tailored for GVSU students and involved a panel of 4 faculty members presenting and discussing different aspects of Descartesʹ philosophy and its legacy. Over thirty students attended along with faculty from the Philosophy Department. The panelists included: Professors Ronald Loeffler, Teresa Castelao-Lawless,  and Jeffrey Byrnes, with Professor Andrew’s Spear as presenter and mediator.


GVSU Philosophy Colloquium Panelist

Featured GVSU Alumni

Professor Jessica Lefort, GVSU Philosophy Alumnas, Joins Michigan Law's Legal Practice Program


Professor Jessica Lefort joins Michigan Law's Legal Practice Program

Legal News - September 19, 2019

Eastern District of Michigan. Lefort received her BA in philosophy from Grand Valley State University and her JD, summa cum laude and Order


Emily McKenna, GVSU Alumnas and Local Artist

Emily McKenna  holds the position of School & Community Programs Coordinator at Krasl Art Center, as well as being a member of the Teaching Faculty. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Visual Studies and a Minor in Philosophy from Grand Valley State University. McKenna was one of the artists featured in the article, 

Two Key Local Arts Leaders Headed to Rising Leaders Cohort  

Moody on the Market - October 8, 2019

Department and Student Activities


gvsu philosophy colloquium events

 Visit Philosophy Colloquium Event Page


gvsu philosophy club specila event

Visit Philosophy Club Event Page


gvsu Ethics Bowl team

Visit the Ethic's Bowl Team Page